CHARLEVOIX COUNTY, MICHIGAN – A man has recently pleaded guilty after a cat was found abused and spray painted in Charlevoix County.
Paul Wicker, of Boyne City, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charged of attempted killing or torturing an animal.
According to the Court Clerk, Wicker was originally charged with one count of killing or torturing an animal, which is a mandatory four year maximum felony, and one count of cruelty to an animal, which is a 93 day maximum misdemeanor. The cruelty card was for mutilating or maiming the cat’s tail, which did result in its eventual amputation by the vet who treated the cat.
The Court Clerk says “attempts” generally carry a penalty of just half the maximum sentenced of the “completed” crime. In this case, attempted animal torture has a two year maximum prison sentence rather than the four year for the original charge.
Wicker was being accused of trapping and then spray painting a stray cat.
According to Charlevoix County Prosecutor Allen Telgenhof, Wicker allegedly yelled to a co-worker, in the presence of the witness these words: “I want her dead” or “I’m going to kill her.” An affidavit signed by Sheriff Schneider, a witness in this case was allegedly threatened by Wicker the day after she spoke with police.
The male cat, Murphy, was found back in October on Jefferson Street near North Street in Boyne City. Murphy was coated in orange-red spray paint and his tail was actually broken in several places. The injuries required Murphy’s tail to be amputated. Murphy also had a severe infection and in addition, an infestation.
Murphy had to be completely shaved to get the spray paint off of him but the vet says he is healthy.
Wicker is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, June 10 at 9 a.m. in the 33rd Circuit Court.